NAICU Washington Update

Federal Appeals Court Rules in Hathi Trust Case

June 11, 2014

The Federal Appeals Court in New York has ruled that the HathiTrust Digital Library’s effort to provide a digital archive of books and other materials from libraries all over the world does not violate copyright law. Had the court ruled differently, it would have been read as a significant limitation on digitizing books.

NAICU had joined other major higher education associations in an amicus brief supporting the trust. The HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research institutions, including many NAICU members. Particular issues in the case involved creating a searchable database of the text of works in the Trust’s collection, and making texts available in different formats for readers with visual and other disabilities that make it difficult for them to use print.

In this and other legal issues, NAICU relied on advice from the volunteer group of higher education attorneys who serve on our Legal Services Review Panel.

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